Thursday, 5 January 2017

Texas April 2017

Sunday 9th April - Wednesday 19th April 2017

The Upper Texas Coast has long been hallowed ground for observing spring migration and is arguably one of the best birding locations in the United States. The coastal woods, marshes, lagoons and beaches provide essential refuge for trans-gulf migrants, many of which leave the tropical forests of Central America to make landfall on the Upper Texas coast. Most of the focus will be on songbirds with sought-after gems like Golden-winged and Cerulean Warblers, and Painted Bunting high on the ‘wish list’ for many. In addition, the rice fields and wetlands play host to scarce shorebirds such as Buff-breasted and Baird’s Sandpipers, and Hudsonian Godwit among many others. Moreover, the marshes support an impressive selection of rails with all six of North America’s regularly occurring species possible on this tour - including the near-mythical Black Rail. North of the coast, deep inside the ‘Piney Woods’ rare breeders include Swallow-tailed Kite, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Swainson’s Warbler and Bachman’s Sparrow. We aim to begin the tour in spectacular fashion near Rockport where we search for Whooping Cranes, one of the rarest cranes species in the World.
Our guide for this exciting tour will be Massachusetts based British birder James Smith. Many of you will know James from his tours to Israel and his numerous USA tours around California, Arizona and other places. He is one of the best bird guides around at the moment and we are very pleased he has joined the Zoothera Birding team.

To see the full tour itinerary just click on this link - Texas Migration Tour 2017

The coastal flats, marshes and lagoons of the Upper Texas Coast hold thousands of shorebirds, herons, egrets, gulls and terns. The star bird during the first half of April is the Endangered Whooping Crane. With a population possibly as low as 249 mature individuals this is one of the rarest birds in the world and we have an excellent chance of catching site of one or two from our boat ride into Aransas Bay. 

Whooping Crane - not the best photo but....

Black Skimmer is relatively common

American Bittern - Anahuac

The boardwalk on Mustang Island

King Rail

Le Conte's Sparrow is a tough bird to find in the coastal marshes

Least Tern

Lesser Yellowlegs

Marbled Godwit

Piping Plover

Roseate Spoonbill

Royal Terns
And there's a whole kaleidoscope of stunning passerines to be found in the coastal woodlots around High Island and, in fact, any small bit of cover along the coast....
Blackburnian Warbler

Blue Grosbeak

Blue-headed Vireo


Grey-cheeked Thrush

Hooded Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 


Swainson's Warbler

No comments:

Post a Comment